Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Gifts from the Kitchen

Homemade Mini Xmas Mince Pies

Cupcakes waiting for a home

Xmas Bark 

I know this is late in the posting but with the frantic rush and madness of Harry's birthday followed quickly by Christmas I just haven't had the time for posting anything. This year for the Xmas presents I gave to teachers like Harry's school teacher, the two lovely ballet teachers (Helen and Kate), as well as to my lovely friend and florist extraordinaire Leon, decorated cupcakes. I also made this delicious Xmas bark which is just dark melted chocolate left to cool and harden, topped with white melted chocolate and crushed candy cane sprinkled on top. It sounds and is simple to make but it is also really delicious for how easy it is to whip up. I think it also looks really pretty.

The cupcakes are one of my favourite recipes which you can find here. I made a lovely and buttery chocolate frosting and topped them with various decorations I made. I bought some cupcake boxes from one of my favourite online stores Kiwicakes where I have to be careful to regulate myself or else I would go mad and spend a small fortune. I thought they turned out pretty well.

I also posted a photo of my homemade Christmas Mince Pie's which are delicious too. I make the Xmas mince the year before so it can sit in the fridge and improve with age. The pastry is my favourite as it is nice and short and not too sweet. You can find the recipe for these here. 

I will post some more photos of the yummy things I made for Christmas shortly.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Part 2

Billy, Jules, Kiwi, Dons, Bex, Marcel and Kamia

Bex and Marc

The very naughty Tarn


Beau stuck up the hill

Harry and Cousin Hollie


Cee-cee and Jules who had to go up the hill to help Beau get down

Dons at the hangi pit

Dons and Little bro Marcel

Tam in her pinnie

Cutting up the meat

Kiwi at the hangi pit

Ephraim and Cee-cee

Tia and Abby

So for the second part of our Xmas day we headed up to Silverdale (about 30 mins away), to Dion and Jen's house for Don's side of the family Xmas. This place is amazing. The day was stunning and the cousins had a chance to run feral with each other. There aren't as many photos because we thought we had forgotten our camera (which we later found in the car) so I had to use my phone. This meal was a delicious hangi which for those of you who don't live in NZ, is when you cooked food in the ground Maori style. The food ends up being very tender and has an amazing smoky flavour. We had beef, pork, chicken, stuffing, and veges. We all took dessert up so there was no lack of food around so once again we came home stuffed full of food. This was a lovely relaxing way to end the day. The kids all ran around playing together and everyone really enjoyed watching the hangi come up. 

All in all we had a great day spending it with lots of food and our fantastic families. It's been lovely to spend today relaxing in preparation to work tonight and enjoy the quiet after all the madness of the previous few weeks. I did get a walk in with the dog to hopefully help with the excesses of yesterday which carry on into Boxing Day with all the leftovers. So here's to next year....and the preparations for New Years!

Happy Christmas everyone! xxxxx

Christmas 2011 Part 1

Harry with the beautiful flowers sent to us from my Aunt Jenny in London

Early in the morning after unwrapping the pillow pet he asked for from Santa

Some of the Santa spoils

Reubs with his Xbox from us parents

Harry with his new bike from us parents

Breakfast with Geogre and Russell

Unwrapping more presents with family

Jimmy and Dad having a Xmas beer


Rochene (also known as Sista) and Dad-am

Me, Rochene, Harry and Dad-am

Helen (Nana)

Dad-am with Dons and Harry
Harry and Nana


Cousins Renee (ala girl version of Elton John) and Reubs

Russ, Dons, Rochene, niece Aleshia and Dad

Carving the twice-cooked pork belly

After lunch...note the sauce bottle which was all Harry!

Bobby and Mum

Dons, Me and Harry

Rochene and Todd

George's side Helen, Jimmy, Renee and Sharon

So yesterday was finally Xmas. We started the day early...very early, with Santa presents in our room. Even Reubs rose early and joined in the fun. I do have photos of him but he would have killed me if I had posted them on here. Needless to say Santa was amazing and brought them everything they wanted plus more! After that we waited for George and Russell to come over to give the boys their big presents from us. Reubs scored and Xbox and Harry scored a cool new bike. After a light breakfast of croissants, nice fruit and yoghurt accompanied by coffee and bubbles at our place, I spent some time finishing off my cooking and we went over to George and Russell's for our family lunch. My family and George's family all congregate there and we have more presents and a fantastic lunch with even more bubbles and wine. This year we had turkey (boneless and stuffed), glazed ham, salmon, twice cooked pork belly, roasted potatoes and yummy salads. For dessert we had trifle (Russell's famous and delicious trifle that is), pavlova, and a platter of homemade Xmas mince pies, pecan tarts and caramel crackers. Needless to say we were all stuffed afterwards. We had to go onto Dons family Xmas (see part 2) to eat even more food. The day was absolutely fantastic! It's so lovely to be with family and spend quality time with each other. See part 2...